Natural Ways to Treat and Prevent Gout

By Amy Taylor on October 10, 2012

Gout, a very painful condition that was once associated with the rich and the famous, has become a very common illness that affects a significant portion of the UK population. In England, researchers have seen a 7% increase in hospital admissions because of gout for over a ten-year period. Additionally, those who have this condition were found to be at high risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and heart failure.

What is gout?

It is a common type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs when uric acid crystals form in the joints. People with this condition normally suffer from frequent, sudden pain that is very intense, particularly on the affected joint, which is often the big toe. In the UK, gout affects one in 70 people, and is three to four times more likely to occur in men than women.

How is gout treated?

The most common form of treatment for gout is the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medications can be taken orally or through injection. But even though NSAIDs can reduce the inflammation in the joints, they do not have any effect on the amount of uric acid stuck in the joint. This means that gout remains no matter how many times you take the drug. In short, they only manage the symptom (pain) and not cure the disease.

If you are looking for a sustainable, more effective and safe treatment that promises long-term relief from gout, a better approach is to treat it naturally. How?

1.       Eat dark-coloured fruits

Fruits that have dark colours such as blueberries, raspberries, cherries and purple grapes have the ability to lower down the body’s uric acid levels. They are also rich in antioxidants that prevent cancer and heart disease. You can munch on these fruits in fresh, canned or frozen forms.

2.       Water, water, water!

If you have gout problems, make sure you have a bottle of water within your reach. Water helps dilute uric acid and eliminate it from your body. To avoid gout, it is recommended that women drink approximately 2.7 litres of water a day, and men 3.7 litres.

3.       Get yourself some vitamin C

Vitamin C also helps flush away the uric acid in your body. However, it is important that you do not overdose this vitamin because it might just lead to an increase in your uric acid levels. Before taking vitamin C, consult your doctor to know how much of it is appropriate for you. You can also eat plenty of citrus such as orange, guava and grapefruit. They are natural sources of vitamin C. 

4.       Avoid drinking alcohol

Regular alcohol consumption increases the amount of uric acid in your body, which increases your risk of developing gout. So avoid alcohol intake as much as possible. 

5.       Try herbal medicines

There are herbs that help alleviate the symptoms of gout and even prevent it from developing. 

• Flamasil – new studies show that this herb helps relieve the pain, soreness, and swelling of gout.

• Lime juice – it’s considered one of the most effective herbal remedies for gout as it reduces uric acid in the kidney. For faster relief of symptoms, drink at least four glasses of lime juice every day.

• Blueberry – this has been used for many, many years by gout sufferers. It contains anthocyanins which help reduce inflammation and swelling, and reduce uric acid build-up.

 

    • 6.       Limit your intake of purine-rich foods

Purine, a compound found in red meat, liver, processed meats, shellfish, sweetbreads, anchovies, and poultry products, increases your uric acid level significantly. So make sure you limit your consumption of these foods.

 

Sources of this article:

’Hospital admissions associated with gout and their co-morbidities in New Zealand and England 1999-2009’, Philip Robinson, Rheumatology.

Mayo Clinic: Gout Lifestyle and Home Treatments

Intstitute of Medicine: Water Intake

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